Tag Archives: Islamic State

The facts have become casualties in the war of words over pregnant IS teenager’s bid to return to UK

Shamima Begum: Commenters who rushed to defend her on the basis of wild speculation are encouraged to consider the facts of the matter.

No issue in recent memory has riled Vox Political readers as much as the case of Shamima Begum – apart from accusations of anti-Semitism, and they were based on inaccurate information or speculation as well.

I must admit I was surprised at the vehemence of the response to yesterday’s article about the teenage defector to IS. I had tweeted a request for opinions, the day before, that received only one response – at a tangent to the main issue.

The diversity of information and opinions on this has been fascinating. It seems a vociferous proportion of you have very solid opinions on the facts of this case – but you can’t agree on what many of those facts are.

We know that Ms Begum was encouraged to leave the UK for IS-held territory with two other schoolgirls, at the age of 15. There, she married a Dutch IS fighter and had two children with him, both of whom died shortly after they were born. She is now pregnant with his third child and is living in a refugee camp outside IS control but in which she is said to be surrounded by IS sympathisers. Those are the facts as we know them.

She has said she still supports IS; that she saw decapitated heads in a basket but the sight did not “faze” her; that she fears her unborn child may not survive if it is born at her current location; and that she wants the UK government to intervene and bring her home, so she and the child can enjoy NHS health care.

Commenters who think she should be brought home have poured doubt on her support of IS, but insisted that the fears she has expressed for her unborn child are genuine, and that she is sincere in her desire to live peacefully in the UK with her child after being brought back. Those are interesting choices, considering they have no evidence to support any of those assertions.

The head of MI6 has already pointed out that Ms Begum may present a threat to people in the UK if she returns and that a “very significant level of resource” would be required to ensure public safety because she is likely to have acquired “certain skills or connections”.

He said: “We are very concerned about this because all experience tells us that once someone has been put in that sort of position, or put themselves in that sort of position, they are likely to have acquired the skills or connections that make them potentially very dangerous.”

It is possible that, if she does manage to have her unborn child in the UK, it would be taken away from her – at least until her intentions are established – for its own safety.

Some of the other issues in this case appear a little more vague:

  • In my previous article I implied that she would be a health tourist. Many, many people have written in to assert that she is entitled to free NHS care because she is British.
    It seems this is not true. Here‘s the NHS’s own guidance: “If you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you will no longer automatically be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules. This is because the NHS is a residence-based healthcare system.”
    This leaflet (and I dare say others from other NHS trusts) indicates that any UK citizen who has lived abroad for more than three months may be charged for health care, unless they can prove that they have been working (note that word: working) abroad for less than five years and have lived in the UK continuously for at least 10 years at some point. Anyone coming to the UK from a non-EEA country with which the UK does not have a bilateral healthcare agreement will normally be expected to pay for treatment.
  • It has been claimed that the unborn child is innocent of any wrong-doing by either of its parents and this is true. But this does not provide it with an automatic right of residence in the UK. The father is Dutch. What are the laws in that country regarding parenthood? Do his family not have a say in the future of their descendant? Who gave commenters on Facebook and Twitter the right to decide that they don’t?
  • It has been claimed that, under international law, Ms Begum cannot be prevented from returning to the UK – as she is a UK citizen and her citizenship cannot be revoked because it is an offence to leave anybody stateless. But this raises significant questions, because she deliberately left the UK with the intention of becoming a citizen of “the Caliphate”, as she describes the land controlled by IS. The UK has never recognised IS as a legitimate country, and it is this that allows Ms Begum to return, if she can. But (again), her comments lead one to conclude that she does not want to be a citizen of the UK, but is simply – cynically – playing on this point of law to get free medical care for herself and her child. Is the UK now the kind of country that forces individuals to be British citizens, whether they want to or not? It isn’t so very long since we condemned the former Soviet Union for such behaviour.
  • It has been suggested that she cannot express remorse because she is in an IS refugee camp (she isn’t); and because she is in a Syrian refugee camp but surrounded by members of IS who could beat her and endanger the child. There is no evidence to suggest this is true.
  • It has been suggested that she was groomed by IS – the evidence suggests she wasn’t. She was radicalised. Grooming is a practice carried out by paedophiles for predatory sexual purposes and the evidence is that she was persuaded to join IS because she was led to believe in its culture and purpose. Once there, the evidence suggests that she applied to marry an English-speaking IS fighter aged between 20 and 25, and did so within a matter of weeks. It has been asserted that this shows sexual impropriety as she was still a minor – but this is according to UK laws and she was now living according to the rules of IS. What is the age of consent there? I don’t know but the evidence – again – suggests that it is lower than in the UK. I’m not supporting that; it is what it is.
  • It has been suggested that those who don’t think she should return – 76 per cent of us according to Sky News – support child grooming, want the unborn child to die, and are racists who would not respond the same way if Ms Begum was white. These are simple personal insults, nothing more. The claim about racism is completely wild. And there is no reason to believe we know that the unborn child will die, now that her circumstances have changed and she is not under IS rule now.

The best information we have shows that Ms Begum left the UK of her own free will and everything she has done since then was intentional and unforced, so it is possible that she will face prosecution and imprisonment if she is allowed back. She is not entitled to free healthcare from the UK’s NHS and her eligibility to return cannot be supported on that basis. If she has the baby in the UK, it may be taken away from her, for its own safety. And the wishes of the father (if he is still alive and can be traced) and his family must also be researched; the child will be a descendant of theirs as well.

Perhaps those who rushed to criticise This Writer had not taken all the elements of this case into account.

It is also possible that I was hasty in saying that Ms Begum should be prevented from returning to the UK. But she should certainly be briefed on what to expect. Her response could provide a very clear indication of who is right in this case.

Will she still want to come back, knowing what might happen if she does?


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Why should the UK let unrepentant IS bride Shamima Begum become a health tourist here?

Shamima Begum: She left the UK to join a terrorist organisation that hates everything our country represents. Now she wants to return because she thinks she can take advantage of us.

Actions have consequences. Perhaps someone should have mentioned that to Shamima Begum before she ran off to join IS in its terrorism.

She left, along with fellow Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, in 2015 – and was married to an IS fighter within three months.

She has since had two children with him – both of whom have died.

Now pregnant with a third child, she says she wants to come home because she fears for its future – and wants to take advantage of the care provided by the National Health Service.

Why should she have it?

This young woman is entirely unrepentant.

She left the UK in order to support terrorism and has shown no regret for doing so. She exhibited no horror at the memory of seeing decapitated heads thrown into bins by members of IS and it seems likely she wants to come back because she now realises IS may soon be wiped out.

She seems a very selfish young woman with attitudes that could be described as sociopathic.

And she has pushed This Writer into a corner where I find myself agreeing with Home Secretary Sajid Javid about her: She should not be allowed to return to the UK. She should not be provided the support of a system she wanted to help overthrow.

Mr Javid told The Times: “If you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return. We must remember that those who left Britain to join Daesh were full of hate for our country. If you do manage to return you should be ready to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted.”

Just so.

Ms Begum made her choice and seems happy with it.

Her only reason for wanting to return is health tourism – and we’ve spent the last few years listening to politicians and ordinary citizens across the UK saying that people coming to the UK from abroad should not be allowed to scrounge free healthcare from the taxpayer.

This person should not be any different from them.


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Put the blame for the Paris attacks where it belongs: On terrorists, not Islam

A French police officer takes cover while on the lookout for the shooters who attacked the restaurant 'Le Petit Cambodge.'

The horrific attacks on the people of Paris prompted an outpouring of anti-Muslim sentiment on the social media, long before Islamic State took responsibility for what happened.

We all know the score now – or at least we should: At least 127 people lie dead and many more injured, and France is in a state of emergency after a series of bomb and gun attacks in Paris on the evening of Friday 13 November. The terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility, several hours after the attacks took place.

The social media – in particular, Twitter – responded with hysteria that was mostly directed at Muslims, regardless of whether people of that religion supported the atrocities or not. This Writer has Muslim friends who were extremely distressed by the hatred shown to them.

And rightly so. Islamic State does not represent the Muslim faith, no matter what its title claims. This organisation is a gang of faithless bandits – no more, no less – who are trying to hijack an entire religion in order to create hatred and division among people beyond the borders of its own illegal caliphate.

Let’s put that in context: IS represents all of Islam to around the same degree as Zionists represent all of Judaism. Both groups have committed atrocities against others in the name of a wider religion – atrocities that the majority of the members of those religions don’t want.

As I stated on Twitter in the early hours of November 14, I’m not going to blame all of Islam for the actions of a few idiots.

And I’m not going to let anyone use Paris to justify the murder of Mohammed Emwazi – the man dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ by his colleagues in Islamic State.

The attack by US forces, approved by UK prime minister David Cameron, represents a lowering of standards. There was no justice to it – no attempt to make the man stand trial for his alleged crimes. It was state-sponsored murder of one of our own citizens – no more, no less.

In approving this raid, the British authorities have lost any claim to the moral high ground.

One more point. After the attack, France’s President Hollande promised “pitiless war” on the perpetrators. I was particularly struck by the response on Twitter from Chris Hayes of MSNBC. He wrote:

“Hollande’s pledge of ‘pitiless’ war is, I have no doubt, the kind of thing many people *want* to hear. But the US learned the hard way after 9/11 how hard it is to translate rhetoric, resolve and massive military advantage into actual security, peace or anything that resembles lasting and definitive ‘victory’.”

How true those words are.

America’s war on terror has been a crushing failure, not because of any military disadvantage but because of a lack of imagination. The terrorists were engaged on their own terms and simply turned military defeats into recruitment drives.

The message is clear: You don’t change people’s minds by killing their friends and families.

This is one reason Jeremy Corbyn is right to oppose the renewal of Trident; it is no deterrent against fanatics who want to attack the UK (just ask MI5) – and without knowing where they are based, where would the UK point its missiles?

No. The only effective response to this attack is intelligence. We all need to get smart.

And we can start by blaming the people responsible, rather than whoever they want us to.

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Just to be awkward, Russia is bombing Syria

This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria.

This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria [Image: BBC].

Russia is bombing parts of Syria in raids that appear to have been planned, not to relieve the suffering of innocent people there, but to cause logistical and diplomatic problems for the USA and its allies.

According to the BBC, Russia has claimed it is targeting Islamic State, but a US official has said none of the targets appear to be in IS-held territory. War planes have attacked what appears to be territory held by rebels against Syrian President Assad in the Homs and Hama provinces.

This has created serious complications in what are already seriously-complicated hostilities.

Russia gave the US an hour’s notice that it would be launching air strikes, along with a demand that America and its allies, in effect, get out of the way – but we don’t know who the targets are.

America is, in its usual bullish manner, saying it won’t halt any of the operations it has already planned with its own allies.

This makes it possible that US and Russian forces will end up shooting each other – even if they say they don’t mean to. Americans have an extremely poor record in this regards – as their British allies in the Second Gulf War learned to their cost.

In the midst of all this, the UK’s damned-fool Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has asserted that this country will continue bombing IS, in Syria, for “as long as it takes” – even though the Conservative Government has no Parliamentary mandate to do anything of the kind.

MPs rejected military action in Syria, almost exactly two years ago. They have since approved strikes against IS in Iraq, but the ban on raids in Syria is technically still in force. Our personnel should not be there.

In the light of the new development, there is even more reason for the UK to pull out of Syria – but of course our Defence Secretary is a damned fool.

This is a situation that could escalate into a shooting war between America and Russia, if damned fools like him are allowed to continue running around like bulls in front of red rags. That should be the last thing anybody wants – but do you see anybody trying to stop it?

And what about the innocent parties in all this – the Syrian citizens who just want to be left in peace? Nobody seems to care about them, even though the addition of Russia into this apocalyptic mess means even more refugees streaming into Europe.

If anybody has any ideas about how to restore sanity, could they please make those ideas known – before we’re all blown to smithereens?

It all makes the fuss over Jeremy Corbyn saying he would not launch a nuclear missile look a bit silly, doesn’t it?

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Cameron seems keen to join the ranks of British war criminals

Reyaad Khan (L) and Ruhul Amin (R), who were killed in a drone strike by the RAF in August.(YouTube)

Reyaad Khan (L) and Ruhul Amin (R), who were killed in a drone strike by the RAF in August.(YouTube)

Someone should tell David Cameron that getting his retaliation in first is not an act that is recognised by the law; people need to commit crimes before being punished for them, and even then the punishment must be appropriate according to the law.

It seems strange to be discussing the Cameron-supported killing of Reyaad Khan, a Cardiff man alleged to be a member of Islamic State, so soon after This Blog expressed concern over the legality of the killing of Osama Bin Laden by US troops, supported by President Obama – but that is how recent events have transpired.

Cameron has told us that Khan was planning terror attacks on the UK, so the Conservative Government ordered his death in a drone strike on August 22.

How do we know this man was planning terror attacks on the UK? Where is the evidence? Is it in another ‘dodgy dossier’, similar to that in which, according to Tony Blair, he had evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Had this man participated in previous terror attacks? If so, when? Where is the proof that shows him taking part?

Cameron said the UK had taken action in “self-defence”, invoking the right to do so under Article 51 of the UN charter – but Article 51 specifically states that an “armed attack” must take place against a UN member state before any such response.

Apparently, under the ‘Caroline principle’, a pre-emptive strike is permissible if the “necessity of self-defence was instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation”. We have no evidence to show that this was the case.

“It’s extremely alarming that the UK has apparently been conducting summary executions from the air,” Kate Allen, Amnesty International’s UK director told International Business Times. “In following the United States down a lawless road of remote-controlled summary killings from the sky, the RAF has crossed a line.”

On the information we have, she’s right. We’ve seen no evidence of any prior attacks, nor have we seen evidence of the need to prevent future attacks.

All we have seen is an act of murder against a UK citizen by his own government.

Even more worrying is the claim that defence secretary Michael Fallon has a “kill list” of alleged terrorists operating in the Middle East. He is on record as having said the Conservatives “wouldn’t hesitate to do it again”.

Until we see the evidence of terrorist activity, the British public should not see the death of Reyaad Khan as anything other than a war crime.

The onus on David Cameron, Michael Fallon and their co-conspirators is to deliver this evidence at once – or deliver themselves to The Hague for trial.

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Terrorism, Islam, and the need to keep the Western world in fear

Laughing at the law-abiding: IS militants at a captured checkpoint in northern Iraq [Image: AFP/Getty].

IS militants, doing exactly what the western powers want them to do, in order to maintain fear of terrorism among (for example) British citizens. [Image: AFP/Getty].

Does anybody else think the reaction to the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo – along with that against ISIS (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days), Al-Qaeda and, for that matter, Russia – has been, at the very least, off-colour?

Terrorists attack the staff of a magazine, claiming to be doing so in the name of Islam (we have no proof that this was their purpose and may never have it), so there’s a huge backlash against Muslims and the same magazine’s next issue – with a cover featuring a poor (yet still offensive) attempt at caricaturing Muhammad himself – sells five million copies; its normal circulation is 60,000.

Here in the UK, David Cameron does his best to use the attack as an excuse for even greater government intrusion into citizens’ privacy, on top of the incursions already enacted by his government.

Is it really about keeping us safe, or is it about keeping us down?

Some have argued that the western military-industrial complex has a vested interest in providing the public with a state-sponsored bogeyman to fear. During the Cold War it was the USSR. Immediately after Soviet Communism (which must not be confused with socialism) collapsed, the west went to war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – a regime formerly supported by the USA. Since then we’ve had 911, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 7/7, Libya, Syria and Islamic State. While this has been going on, the western media seem to be stirring up fear of Putin’s Russia.

Isn’t that only to be expected from a coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs*?

There is no doubt that the British people are kept safe by the efforts of our security services – it is important that this should not be misunderstood. Many of the threats mentioned a couple of paragraphs above have been real.

But they aren’t anywhere near as serious as certain extremely rich people and organisations want us to think they are. Look at Iraq – Saddam Hussein didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction at all! He was found in a hole, living on ‘fun-size’ Mars bars (if certain writers are to be believed**).

It seems clear that there is a system of control being exercised upon us here. You can see it for yourself, evidenced by the fact that we never seem to find ourselves clear of any threats; there’s always another one on the horizon and it’s always important for us to give up more of our civil liberties in order to fight it – and of course, we pay for all the weapons and ammunition used, with our taxes.

So, looking at this objectively, we should be asking ourselves: Who is the greater threat?

As far as the Islamic extremists are concerned, if we lived in a rational world there would be a strong argument for someone to go and speak to them (under a white flag or whatever it took to be heard) and point out a few important facts: The western military has enough firepower to turn the Middle East into a scorched crater if it wants to do so. The reason it doesn’t is it needs you to be the equivalent of a pantomime villain, to be defeated at regular intervals on the evening news. The West will never defeat you completely, because you’re too useful for making a profit for the arms dealers and for keeping western citizens under control. You are, therefore, nothing but toys. The only way to defeat this strategy is to disengage completely; stop the violence against the west that will never, ever succeed and find better solutions to your problems.

If we lived in a rational world, they would agree.

Wouldn’t you like to live in that world, instead of this?

*As described in Revolution, by Russell Brand. Cheers for looking it up, Russell.

**Cheers again, Russell.

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POLL: The BIG bribe – Cameron promises tax cuts for 30 million people; the deficit and public services can go hang

Call-me-Dictator-Dave: Cameron has announced tax cuts which will necessitate further service cuts, at the end of the most fascistic Conservative Party conference yet seen [Image: Telegraph].

Call-me-Dictator-Dave: Cameron has announced tax cuts which will necessitate further service cuts, at the end of the most fascistic Conservative Party conference yet seen [Image: Telegraph].

Here we are, then – the big offer to bribe the UK’s citizens into voting Conservative, despite the hammering he has given them for the last four and a half years.

To persuade you to let him keep hammering you for another five years, David Cameron is offering to:

  • Raise the tax-free personal allowance for the lowest earners from £10,500 to £12,500
  • Raise the threshold for the 40p rate of income tax from £41,900 to £50,000

He said raising the tax-free allowance would help one million people and cut taxes for 30 million more.

Perhaps he thinks we’re stupid. These plans are hasty, back-of-a-fag-packet responses to UKIP’s tax plans, announced at the Purple Party’s conference last Friday. Farage stole his thunder and now he’s trying to claw something back – at the expense of the economy. How is he going to get the deficit down when there’s no tax money coming in? Even if his policies killed every single benefit claimant – and they’re well on the way! – he would not save enough to balance the budget.

Not only that, but paying less tax means more public services will be sold off, and private citizens will have to pay for them, privately, out of their own pockets. We all know that publicly-provided services are cheaper, meaning that this move will cost us much, much more in the long term.

Cameron knows that but his business buddies will benefit so he doesn’t care.

Other promises included:

Protecting the NHS budget for the next Parliament. If he intends to do this the way he raised real-terms spending on it in the current Parliament, there will be no NHS left by 2020. Yet again, he played on the memory of his own disabled son Ivan, who died in 2009 – turning on the water-works when he said, “For me, this is personal”. It is personal for him – he personally wants to be the man who destroyed the NHS altogether – and you can tell what kind of man he is from the way he used a family tragedy in a cynical bid to play on your emotions.

The UK will go to war with Islamic State extremists. Because another war is what we all want – right?

Getting “what Britain needs” in EU negotiations. What Britain needs, or what the Conservative Party needs? And what about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would condemn British workers to a race to the bottom in terms of working conditions and products available, while also locking privatisation of services into our economy, just as the Conservative’s want.

Scrapping the Human Rights Act – wrong for all the reasons mentioned in Vox Political‘s article earlier this week.

Offering every teenager a place on the National Citizenship Service scheme. Is this Cameron’s version of the Hitler Youth?

Planning to build 100,000 new affordable homes for first-time buyers – because the Tories have been hugely successful getting them built in the current Parliament, haven’t they? (House building hit its lowest point in more than 70 years under the Coalition). And why only 100,000? Labour is offering five times as many.

Cameron described the Tories as “the real party of compassion and social justice”, but in the same speech said people would have to “work a bit longer and save a bit more” – glossing over the facts of life under Conservative governments, that people can’t work when they don’t have jobs, and those who do can’t save when their jobs don’t pay enough.

Notice that he said nothing about social security. On the £25 billion of cuts previously announced by George Osborne (and this was before Cameron decided he was going to do another tax giveaway bribe on the eve of the election), he said, “That’s a lot of money, but it is doable.” It certainly is, if you are willing to cut the state down to the bone, sell everything off to anyone who’ll buy it (China, perhaps?), and don’t care that it will cost millions of lives because the only people to suffer will be poor.

When the history of this period of UK politics is written, David Cameron will appear as a wretched little smear of scum.

Or do you disagree? Let’s have a poll.

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That’s right, Nigel – Cameron recalled Parliament to overshadow your conference speech

Not voting UKIP: VP could have run a picture of Farage or Cameron - but this is the message that needs to get through. Now watch the comment column fill up with something that is never seen in the wild - kippers bleating.

Not voting UKIP: VP could have run a picture of Farage or Cameron – but this is the message that needs to get through. Now watch the comment column fill up with something that is never seen in the wild – kippers bleating.

If anyone needed further proof of how badly UKIP has become divorced from reality, they need look no further than the latest bizarre claim from the party’s leader, Nigel Farage.

According to the Daily Mail (not the most reliable of sources, maybe, but closely-enough aligned with UKIP for this to have the ring of truth), Mr Farage and others have said that David Cameron’s recall of Parliament to debate action against Islamic State was a “cynical ploy” to divert attention from his keynote speech at the UKIP conference in Doncaster racecourse.

Speaking on Wednesday, Farage whinged that the timing of the Parliamentary recall was a deliberate attempt to overshadow him: “It is widely believed Prime Minister David Cameron held back on recalling Parliament on an issue of massive national importance so it didn’t affect the Labour Party conference… However, he still thought it best to delay parliamentary recall until Friday, and not do it tomorrow.”

That’s right, Nigel.

He didn’t recall Parliament because Iraq has appealed to the UK for help against IS.

He didn’t do it because IS has killed at least one UK citizen and may kill more.

And he didn’t do it because IS jihadists may try to attack UK citizens on British soil.

He didn’t leave the Labour conference alone because Labour has hundreds of MPs who would have found it difficult to extract themselves from their conference commitments, and he didn’t leave Labour alone because postponing the remainder of the Labour conference would give his strongest opponents more publicity than they were already getting.

Nor did he schedule the recall for Friday because UKIP has no MPs and would, therefore, be unaffected.

The fact that UKIP is fielding 12 (count ’em – 12!) candidates in next year’s general election has Cameron quaking in his boots.

He is terrified that you will wrest the balance of power away from Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats, meaning he might have to form a government with you if he can’t do it on his own.

And he lives in fear that you will go on to steal all the limelight from him.

As surely as a pig just flew past my first-floor office window – that is exactly how it is.

(Alternatively, you are a deluded egomaniac who badly needs to regain a sense of proportion. People are making life-or-death decisions and you are worried that people won’t see you spitting out your favourite soundbite on the Six O’Clock? Grow up.)

How appropriate that a man who perverted justice is urging Cameron to war

140818huhne

Less than a day after this blog said David Cameron was waiting for media coverage to make war in the Middle East palatable to the people again, an article appears urging him to make war in the Middle East – by Chris Huhne.

That’s right, Chris Huhne – a former Liberal Democrat politician who had to resign his position as Energy Secretary in Cameron’s Coalition cabinet after being convicted of perverting the course of justice by trying to pretend his former wife had been speeding, not himself.

Huhne had maintained his innocence right up to the beginning of the trial, when he changed his plea to admit guilt. Apparently the public is supposed to accept the advice of this weaselly creature, writing in The Guardian.

That’s right, The Guardian – if ever a newspaper should know better than to publish warmongering propaganda, it’s The Guardian, which tries to be the voice of reason in an ever-feverish British press. Admittedly, this is an opinion piece in the paper’s ‘Comment is free’ column. Nevertheless, it is ill-advised and editor Alan Rusbridger should have thought twice before playing into David Cameron’s hands in this way.

The article itself reads like a response to yesterday’s Vox Political piece, which stated that Cameron, stung by his defeat over Syria, was waiting for public opinion to be turned back on-side by media support for British military intervention in Iraq.

And what’s the title of the Huhne piece? ‘David Cameron must get over his Syria humiliation and act on Iraq’. How swiftly the prophecies of Yr Obdt Srvt fulfil themselves these days… No crystal ball required, either.

Huhne, whose Parliamentary voting record shows he strongly supported an investigation into the last Iraq war, seems to have undergone a complete reversal of opinion since Cameron lost that famous vote on Syria, almost a year ago. Perhaps he’s had a “Road to Damascus” moment, to use a Biblical reference.

“Britain has so far done little except tip food parcels out of military transport; the last week has been notable for dither and delay,” he writes. “There have been no British air strikes… Such is the shadow of the government’s parliamentary defeat on the Syrian intervention.”

He argues that Cameron must try to represent “both strands” that identify Tories: “the Whig imperialists who believe in muscular intervention in good international causes; and the Tory nationalists who want nothing if it does not serve narrowly defined British interests.

“It is a debate that has raged throughout Tory history, most famously pitting Winston Churchill against Neville Chamberlain on appeasement.”

Hold on that thought; so now Huhne is comparing IS, still a relatively low concern to anybody outside its own backyard, with the German Nazis of the 1930s and the huge threat to lives and freedom that they posed?

That’s a step too far, too quickly. Huhne should have thought about what he was saying. Trying to connect IS with the greatest enemy this country has ever faced is a ridiculous step too far, utterly disproportionate and clearly manipulative. And nobody has any interest in appeasing Islamic State.

He is calling on us to make an emotional decision based on a grossly misjudged comparison.

The irony is that he didn’t need to do it. The arguments speak for themselves. His claim that “regional powers joining to meet their responsibilities” could solve the IS question is reasonable. This blog stated yesterday that an international alliance could surround IS and choke it to death, ending its threat forever.

But, ultimately, that is not what Huhne is demanding. He wants Cameron to rush in, do another quick-fix, and set up the pieces for another conflict – possibly bloodier – further down the line. This is odd, because there are no military suppliers among Huhne’s business interests.

The bottom line is that nobody should support military action on the basis of what is written here.

It would be a crime for British troops to go back to Iraq on such a pretext – especially when urged to do so by this petty criminal.

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Cameron’s ‘incoherent’ response to IS hides a plan for another war

Laughing at the law-abiding: IS militants at a captured checkpoint in northern Iraq [Image: AFP/Getty].

Laughing at the law-abiding: IS militants at a captured checkpoint in northern Iraq [Image: AFP/Getty].

David Cameron has no strategy to protect Christians who are threatened by violent religious groups like IS, and his policy is determined by the “loudest media voice”, according to the Church of England.

There’s no arguing with it. A letter from the Bishop of Leeds, Nicholas Baines, endorsed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, points out that Cameron’s UK has turned its back on the suffering of tens of thousands of Christians fleeing IS jihadists in Mosul, Iraq’s second city, while the government responded promptly to reports of Yazidis trapped on Mt Sinjar.

The letter also condemns Cameron’s failure to offer sanctuary to Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes, when the French and Germans have already done so. Parliamentary questions tabled last month to find out whether the UK intends to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians have lain unanswered. Perhaps this is a political decision as Cameron thinks more foreigners coming here will push up support for UKIP; if so, that would support the Church’s view that he is reacting to the media, rather than following his own policy.

In fact, Cameron’s approach is becoming clearer. He wants to involve us in another war.

But, burned by his defeat in Parliament last year over Syria, he is taking a ‘softly, softly’ approach.

Having sent humanitarian aid to Iraq, he wrote in today’s Sunday Telegraph that this was not enough.

“He warns that Britain will have to use its ‘military prowess’ to help defeat ‘this exceptionally dangerous’ movement, or else terrorists with ‘murderous intent’ will target people in Britain,” the Telegraph report states.

Didn’t Tony Blair also use the possibility of a threat to the UK to cajole Britain into supporting the last round of wars in the Middle East? The antagonist may change but it seems the script does not.

In fact it is true that something must be done about IS. A lawless gang of murderers is setting up a lawless state in parts of Iraq and Syria that have been weakened by wars we either fought or did nothing to prevent – and fears that they could radicalise gullible Brits and send them home to carry out terrorist acts on our soil are real.

What is needed is a co-ordinated response from all law-abiding powers – not just in the west but Middle-Eastern countries and others. IS is the political equivalent of a rabid animal; its members don’t care who they attack, as long as they cause maximum harm, and every country in the world should be aware of this.

Cameron potters around the edges instead, following the same plan the UK always uses.

We could have sorted out these problems before withdrawing from Iraq a few years ago. We could have done it in the 1990s, after the first Gulf War. We could have sorted them out at any time before then – and with greater ease, but that does not suit a western industrial complex that is geared towards perpetuating warfare.

Cameron’s attitude is media-driven. His defeat over Syria has led him to revise his strategy, waiting for public opinion to be swayed by media reports of the bloodshed taking place abroad, stoked by fears that it could happen here in Blighty. When the public is supportive again, he can announce action – but only just enough action to keep the Middle Eastern countries at odds with each other, making further military conflicts inevitable.

Today, it seems he has decided he can act, if comments like “we need a firm security response, whether that is military action to go after the terrorists, international co-operation on intelligence and counter-terrorism or uncompromising action against terrorists at home” are to be believed.

Cameron also wrote that this is a “struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology, which I believe we will be fighting for the rest of my political lifetime.”

His political lifetime will end in May 2015, so he’s right about that.

It seems his evil strategy for the Middle East will continue to affect the region long after the end of his physical lifetime, too.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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